Welcome to the Industry Insider by Behind Sport. Our latest guest in the series is Founder and Community Director of EQUIP Group, Liam Kiziltan.
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what have you done previously?
My name is Liam Kiziltan, I’m 25 years old and I’m a massive Everton fan! I’m currently the Founder and Community Director of EQUIP Group. Outside of my work at EQUIP I have also worked for UCFB as an Events & Recruitment Coordinator, Liverpool FC as a lead SEN coach and Everton FC as an Events Assistant.
What have you done & what do you do in your current role?
At Equip we aim to teach and promote the development of key life skills that will help people to lead a more successful enjoyable life. We do this in three key ways. Firstly through delivery. We deliver our own activities in the form of events, clubs and in partnership with schools to teach children and young people the skills that we believe they need for the future e.g. teamwork, confidence, respect, equality etc. We deliver a wide range of activities as we believe in a person first led approach, therefore, we let people choose what activities they want to take part in and we will teach them life skills through that. Secondly we are very active on social media, creating content that we believe provides value to all ages and thirdly, through branding and merchandise. We want to create something which people can relate to, be a part of and see as a constant reminder of positivity and progress in their lives.
What does a normal week look like for you?
Every day is different in my current role at EQUIP. As a founder of a start-up business you have to very quickly learn skills in all areas, however, my main responsibilities week to week lie within managing our team of staff, generating and putting into place new strategic ideas and also applying our vision to develop and help people within our marketing and brand identity.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
I always wanted to work in the sports industry. When I was a child I wanted to be a footballer but I found out pretty quick that that wasn’t going to be a reality. I went to Everton Football College to study sports and I loved it. This led me to apply for UCFB on their football business and marketing degree. However I did have that entrepreneurial spirit in me and loved the idea of building my own thing. In my first year of being at UCFB I was a winner of their Sports Entrepreneurship competition with the idea of EQUIP. The idea started off as using sports to help develop life skills in young people however it has quickly grown to much more than that.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
There’s a lot of things to be excited about at the moment. During lockdown all of our delivery has been cancelled of late which has been difficult, however, it has provided an opportunity for me and the team to explore new ways of delivery without actually being there. I’m excited about being able to use technology and social media to promote important messages to people across the country.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
The best piece of advice I can give to anybody who wants to work in the sports industry is that you have to make contacts. It’s not good enough to just get good grades, you have to put the work in and introduce yourself to people and give them a reason why they should listen to you and show them how you can help them. Be willing to do voluntary work, be willing to put in hours behind-the-scenes, be willing to go above and beyond, be willing to build relationships and there is no reason why you can’t work in the industry.
Any social links you want to plug?
I would love it if you followed myself @liamkiz on Twitter and Instagram. My YouTube channel is Liam Kiz – EQUIP Group and you can also find my podcast “Biz with Kiz” on any podcast platform. My company’s channels are @equipgroup on all platforms. We also have a specific YouTube channel for children called EQUIP Kids. Oh and remember… If you like our vibe, click subscribe!
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider feature with Founder and Community Director of EQUIP Group, Liam Kiziltan!
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